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Education Career Guide Details of school administration jobs.

Details of school administration.

Are you interested in a career in education but don't want to be a teacher? Or perhaps you're currently a teacher wondering how you can propel your career forward. A future in school administration could be the solution. School administration positions range from principals to superintendents, and these individuals are key players in education for students and teachers alike. Get all the details about school administration jobs to determine if this path to a career in education is right for you.

Career outlook and salaries.

If your goal is to work in education to help students and teachers thrive, school administration could be the perfect fit for you. But it's important to know what you're getting into before deciding to take the leap. Get information on salaries, career outlook, and what to expect from this field before you get started. Knowing this information will help you make informed decisions about your educational career.

School Administration Salaries

School Administration Career Growth In The Next 10 Years

Understand that teacher salaries will vary based on where you live, how long you've been in the profession, and the experience and education you have. Similarly, career outlook varies based on where you live and the school's needs near you. Identify school administrators you know and talk with them about their career outlook and opportunities in your area.

“WGU prepared me to enter the field of teaching. I was very successful and became a principal four years later. Thank you, WGU!” Nancy Walker
B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education)

How to get into school administration.

The path to a career in school administration is a bit longer than other careers and usually does require extensive education. But most school administrators say the path is well worth it. Most people follow this path to become an administrator:

  1. Complete a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program.
  2. Earn your state teaching license.
  3. Gain two to three years of teaching experience.
  4. Complete a master’s degree in education.
  5. Pass your state’s tests to earn a public school administrator’s license.
  6. Begin applying to open administrative positions.
Classroom experience is vital to help you be prepared for a career in education. That's why most school administrators are required to be a licensed teacher and have spent some time in the classroom teaching.

If you haven't gotten a bachelor's degree, WGU can help you get started with our wide variety of education degrees that will also help you get licensed as a teacher.

If you already have your bachelor's degree, you do have options to obtain a teaching license to start your experience in the classroom.

If you're already a teacher, you're closer than you think to becoming a school administrator! You can earn your master's degree completely online while still working as a teacher. Get started on your program as soon as next month.

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How to prepare for a school administration job.

There are several things you can do to go above and beyond in your preparation for becoming a school administrator. 

  • Pick an expertise. Some administrators focus on learning about curriculum. Others focus on technology and how it can be used in schools. Whatever you pick, focusing on something specific can help set you apart from other candidates for jobs.
  • Find a mentor. The right mentor can help you learn about the responsibilities of being an administrator and feel prepared for future jobs. They can also help you network and make connections within education.
  • Pursue continuing education. Read, read, read! Spend time reading and doing research so you know what is going on in your field. This kind of preparation and study can help you stand out in the crowd of candidates for jobs.

School administration jobs.

These are just a few of the many job titles that are associated with school administration.


Elementary, middle, and high school principals serve as the public face of their school. They work year round either in private or public schools, managing operations for the day-to-day activities, overseeing staff, coordinate curriculum, and provide a safe learning environment for students. Principals also often counsel and meet with students, help set academic goals for students and the school, and implement district and state standards. Principals work with parents to help them coordinate with the school, and in general are in charge of making everything in their school run like clockwork.

Preschool Director

There are private and public preschools around the country. A preschool director will create the policies, manage the staff, and oversee the day-to-day operations. They are also in charge of the curriculum, and often meet with parents to keep them connected to the school. They will handle any issues with students or staff, as well as make sure standards are being met


School librarians are in charge of managing the collections of books and data resources at a school. In elementary schools, librarians help organize lessons and crafts for students. In older schools, librarians help teach about research and are available to work with students on projects. 


The superintendent of a school district is the overall senior leader and public face of the whole district. They work with the Department of Education and taxpayers to advocate for funding and manage the needs of the district and schools within the district. Personnel matters, school safety, and workplace injuries all fall under the jurisdiction of the superintendent.

Vice Principal

The vice principal or assistant principal is an integral part of any school. They have so much work, sometimes there are multiple vice principals in a larger school. Their main duty is to help principals in all their work to make the school run. They help manage teachers and other staff, plan curriculum, meet with students and teachers, direct academic activities, and coordinate events. The duties of a vice principal will greatly depend on the school and principal, and meeting those direct needs.

Instructional Coordinator

For teachers and trainers to instruct effectively in today's diverse classrooms, they need to know how to leverage technology, design useful instructions, and assess the value of instructional products and programs. A Master of Education in Instructional Design will give you the tools necessary for you to achieve your career goal as an instructional design expert, increase your curriculum development skills, and feel the satisfaction that comes along with developing cutting-edge instructional material.

Wondering if you're cut out to be an expert instructional designer? If you're a licensed teacher, district curriculum developer, corporate trainer, or specialist in art, music, or literature, then the M.Ed. Instructional Design is the natural next step toward achieving your career goals. Courses in instructional design — combined with your training or teaching expertise — will put you on the fast track to a gratifying occupation.

Instructional coordinators are hired by schools or school districts to help implement the best curriculum. They develop and coordinate the implementation of that curriculum, they conduct teacher trainings, analyze student data, research the best textbooks and techniques, and hold workshops or conferences to mentor and teach educators.

School Counselor

School counselors work all kinds of schools to listen to students, and be there for them when they have problems. They mediate issues between students and teachers, as well as help parents with connections to teachers. They assist older students with college applications, and ensure students are on track to graduate. They also work with students to help with mental health, substance abuse, or other problems.

Director of Admissions

In private schools or universities there may be a director of admissions who is solely in charge of students being admitted to school. They go over the admission criteria, review applications, make decisions, work with parents and students, and work with other school administrators to create a positive environment. 

Where can school administrators work?

Public school.

At a public school, administration has to make sure that state curriculum is being taught effectively. There are more students that attend public schools than private schools, so there are more responsibilities and more teachers to manage. State requirements are also the responsibility of administration, from testing to schedules. 


Administrators of universities have lots of work cut out for them. Universities are often large, with thousands of students and instructors. School administration must work with all departments to help maintain curriculum and standards. Many universities have public funding or donors they have to work with and state or federal standards to meet to remain accredited. 


Private or public preschools require some upper management to help maintain them, especially if they are large. Paperwork, finances, curriculum, and more are all required of preschool administrators.

Private school/charter school.

Private schools and charter schools require administration much like public schools. Private and charter schools are often smaller than public schools, and might charge tuition or have other financial obligations to maintain because they aren't free necessarily to attendees. There are applications because these schools are strict about who is admitted, runs, and teaches the schools. There is more control over curriculum so administrators of these schools have lots of work to do there. However, state standards must be met, so administration has to work with these standards.

Get on the path to a career in school administration today.

Now that you understand what a career in school administration can look like, it's time to get started! Apply to WGU today so you can get started in your program as soon as next month! Don't let anything stand in the way of your dream to work in education.